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Rail Plan to Ship Ethanol Is Decried
by Katheleen Conti (The Boston Globe) Eight firefighters are seen dousing a couple of rail cars, as bright flames and a plume of dark smoke engulf parts of the freight train in a still image stamped with the message: Ready for ethanol in Chelsea?
The deliberately shocking image is being used in fliers distributed by Chelsea Green Space, the environmental justice component of the nonprofit Chelsea Collaborative, to sway public opinion against a proposal by Global Partners LP to ship ethanol to its petroleum storage terminal in Revere by way of a commuter rail line used by the MBTA.
The Waltham-based company applied for a waterways permit with the state to be allowed to conduct water-dependent industrial activity at its bulk storage tank farm at 140 Lee Burbank Highway in Revere, abutting Chelsea Creek. The estimated $2 million project would include upgrading a rail car unloading facility at the Revere terminal and splitting a spur connected to the rail line into two adjacent tracks that would hold up to 20 rail cars for unloading ethanol and other fuels.
Revere Fire Chief Gene Doherty said he has confirmed with the state Department of Fire Services that Global is proposing shipments of an estimated 1.7 million gallons of ethanol every three to five days in 60-car trains. He said that State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan told him that Massachusetts already receives ethanol shipments by rail on a regular basis, from Albany, N.Y., and Vermont into Worcester, and with some then rolling into Rhode Island. READ MORE